Raise your hand if you’ve had to choose between mobile and social for your emerging media budget this year. Budgets sometimes have a line item for social and a line for mobile, but in truth, sometimes it’s difficult to tell them apart.

Case in point: this past week Facebook CTO Bret Taylor said “My sense is that mobile devices are inherently social… [mobile devices are] already filled with your contacts and your friends, and they also have access to your location.”

We know from social networks, research firms and user search queries that users of social networks are frequently accessing them from mobile devices, and mobile users are frequently accessing social networks as part of their daily mobile routines.

Marketers may be thinking about mobile and social as separate line items that require different specialists, agencies and strategies, and to some extent they do; but their social networking efforts are going to reach mobile users and their mobile efforts will be incomplete without some sort of social component.

The blurred line between social and mobile may be obvious in the case of mobile social networks like Foursquare and Gowalla, but the line applies to social networks with more reach as well.

Consider the following stats about mobile usage from networks that are likely part of your social budget, but may not have been accounted for in mobile:

  • 50% of active users make mobile a regular part of their Twitter experience (Twitter CEO Dick Costolo)
  • 200 million of Facebook’s 600 million subscribers access Facebook through their mobile device (Facebook CTO Bret Taylor)
  • Mobile is Facebook’s top priority in 2011 (Bret Taylor)
  • [Groupon has] seen significant growth in the last six months in terms of percentage of users who redeem from mobile. (Groupon VP/GM of Mobile, Mihir Shah)
  • YouTube now exceeds 200 million views a day on mobile, a 3x increase in 2010. (YouTube)
  • [Facebook mobile users] are more than twice as active as people who use Facebook just on a desktop computer (Bret Taylor)
  • 30% of smartphone owners have accessed social networks via browser (comScore)
  • Moms are active in mobile social: in terms of demographics, most mobile social network users are female, with the most active age group being 35-54 (Nielsen)

In other words, if you’re running a social media campaign in Facebook or Twitter, it’s very likely that your target is viewing it on a mobile device.

If your target is a Facebook user, it’s likely they’re engaging with your brand twice as much on a mobile device as they would be on a desktop computer.

If your business is doing a Groupon, it’s also likely that a growing number of your customers will never print out the Groupon, but redeem it at the local business with their smartphone.

If you consider yourself a video SEO or video marketer and are actively engaging your target audience in YouTube, your target audience is likely being engaged on their mobile device.

If you’re a mobile marketer and you’re not thinking about social media, you’re not thinking about the activity that occupies 30% of the most active mobile user group’s time. This especially applies to social media and mobile marketers who target moms, as they use mobile social media more than any other demographic.

No wonder a recent survey by PR Week found that the majority of US marketers surveyed believed mobile social would have important consequences for their brand.

If you’re running both social media and mobile campaigns and you’re considering the synergies between mobile and social, great. You’re on the right track and you have quite a bit of evidence to justify the spend not just on social media or mobile marketing, but both.

However, if you’re choosing to experiment with one or the other this year, take the rest of the year to plan for how your mobile campaigns will include social media and social media campaigns will include mobile.

One strategy Cindy Krum introduced last year is to use social media to target messages to mobile users, through local social networking and providing mobile content. The article contains a lot of great tips and is definitely worth a read for anyone looking to take advantage of the synergies between mobile and social media. But given the fast pace of innovation in mobile and social media, there are even more opportunities for marketers today.

In the area of local social networking, Facebook Places was introduced not long after Cindy’s article, and they recently announced group deal opportunities for advertisers and marketers who want to use Facebook places as a mobile marketing vehicle.

Earlier this week, Google Latitude also announced a check-in service, which could add another dimension to marketers with listings in Google Maps.

Finding The Mobile Social Sweet Spot

If you’re a social media marketer or mobile marketer, it can be difficult to pick the right channels to reach your target audience.

Ideally marketers would have a presence everywhere, but with limited resources to perform the full time job of managing a community, how do social media and mobile marketers prioritize?

One good way to prioritize social networks based on your campaign type is to look at user queries for navigational terms.

Since we don’t have mobile versus desktop stats on all social networks, looking at the navigational searches can give us a better idea of how many of their users are actively engaged in mobile.

mobile social network demand

In the table above you can see mobile, desktop and total monthly search volume for some of the most popular mobile social networks.

You may think of Foursquare and Gowalla when you think of mobile social networks, but when it comes to what consumers are looking for on their desktop computers and mobile devices, neither network makes the top ten for total volume, and Foursquare is only #9 in terms of total mobile volume.

If you’re building social media campaigns and are looking for reach, Mocospace has eight times the consumer demand as Foursquare, and more demand than Linkedin, Tumblr, Groupon, Stumbleupon, Quora, Delicious or Digg.

Of course, reach isn’t the only thing to consider when prioritizing mobile social networks.

It also important to consider demographics, psychographics and technographics of the community, as well as actual mobile traffic numbers provided by the networks themselves. If you’re considering making the jump into this brave new mobile social world, the data above can act as a roadmap of sorts, to help you on your way to social mobile marketing success.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Mobile Search

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About The Author: is Director of Content Solutions at Resolution Media, and a primary architect of Resolution Media's natural search product and Digital Behavior Analysis. You can follow him on Twitter @BrysonMeunier

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://blog.oneriot.com tobias peggs

    Great to see you writing about this, Bryson. The cry that “mobile is inherently social” is getting louder and louder. For reference, my company OneRiot runs an ad network across many social apps, and we apply social targeting techniques to drive good ad performance. But now we’re seeing compelling data to suggest that the same social targeting techniques also work well on apps that are not necessarily social, but that are mobile. In other words, from an ad targeting perspective, it seems that mobile is very much inherently social. I’ve written more here:
    http://blog.oneriot.com/post/3004544256/if-mobile-is-inherently-social-then-mobile-advertising

 

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